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BC Ferries hiring binge aims to fill 500 positions to stem wave of sailing cancellations

The ferry corporation is now offering incentives to lure workers
BC Ferries has cancelled more sailings between Swartz Bay and Tsawwassen. (Black Press Media file photo)

BC Ferries has gone on a hiring spree to fill hundreds of positions to deal with the cancellation of sailings caused by staff shortages.

Two more sailings were cancelled Sunday night between the Swartz Bay and Tsawwassen terminals due to a shortage of staff. BC Ferries tweeted that it tried to source a full crew, but were unable to.

There have been multiple sailings cancelled in recent months due to a shortage of staff.

Now, BC Ferries says it’s “launched its biggest recruitment campaign in the company’s history.”

In all, BC Ferries is looking to hire more than 500 casual positions in 2023.

“Like other transportation providers, we are challenged with an aging demographic and people retiring,” says a statement from BC Ferries. “Despite staffing pools, cross-training employees in multiple positions and offering employees overtime, we continue to face staffing challenges which can impact our service. We apologize to our customers for any inconvenience this may cause and we are actively addressing these issues with our recruitment drive.”

In an effort to both attract and retain employees, BC Ferries has introduced incentives and guaranteed hours for new employees, enhanced allowances for employees with certain technical qualifications and those who work overnight hours, increased its training budget to support employees who train to reach higher qualifications and boosted its cadet training program.

“It’s important to note that there is a worldwide shortage of mariners, with fewer young people entering the marine sector,” said the statement. “British Columbia has one of the highest employment rates in Canada, making the job market very competitive. We are reviewing options to ensure our jobs are attractive to new employees.”

Many BC Ferries riders have taken to social media after having their sailings cancelled, wondering what they are supposed to do in this situation if they have made a reservation.

“If a sailing is cancelled, we make every effort to load customers on the next available sailing,” said BC Ferries. “Customers with a booking on the next scheduled departure will be loaded in advance of customers from the cancelled sailing. If we are unable to load you on the next available sailing, you will be loaded in order of arrival at the terminal.”

For more information, BC Ferries recommends visiting its travel page.

READ MORE: Couple ‘evicted’ from Victoria ferry terminal after being 4 minutes late gets zero sympathy

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Chris Campbell

About the Author: Chris Campbell

I joined the Victoria News hub as an editor in 2023, bringing with me over 30 years of experience from community newspapers in Metro Vancouver and the Fraser Valley
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